Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Various Links, News, and Outrages

A plain-language explanation of the value of social media.

Germany has something every guy can appreciate: man parks! An opportunity for grown men to play in the dirt with real construction equipment.

Care to know who else has taken bailout money? Here's the list of other companies Congress is likely to denounce for operating with no strings after first pledging money to bail them out with no strings attached: Stand by for more outrage, show trials, forced confessions, blacklists, and disingenuous demonizing.

Nancy Pelosi believes that Immigration raids of worksites to look for illegal workers are un-American.

Science fairs in Alabama (just in case you're interested):

A friend of mine from Disney is doing some email marketing of his own comic book. I thought I'd pass it along in case you're interested: Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan

While America seems to be lurching along to the left, New Zealand has elected a center-right government, and has a pretty impressive list of accomplishments for their first "100 days."

"Tea Parties" are expanding nationwide. Because the protests are often anti-Obama, the mainstream media, of course, is ignoring them unless they're also denouncing businesses.

I am now officially famous. I've been interviewed by The Space Show as a space advocate and The Story Institute as a nonfiction writer.


Doc and I had a really good discussion today about the Internet business model and how newspapers could make the transition beyond the dead-tree model. I asked him directly how writers like Scalzi and Doctorow will manage to make a buck once the dead-tree route is no longer available. (Side editorial: I believe some bright soul in the Obama administration will attempt to force the demise of paper books in the name of protecting the environment. Sure, a bunch of people at Barnes & Noble and Borders will lose their jobs, but Amazon will make out just fine with its Kindle editions. Okay, done with that--we now return you to your previously scheduled foolishness.)

One example Doc offered was, which manages to hire and get good (albeit liberal) investigative pieces, to pay its writers, and get people to pay for their content. They have advertisers, and manage to bring in the big bucks, etc. So couldn't the big-name newspapers follow that same model? Or couldn't the NY Times, etc., make Kindle and the internet their primary for-pay distribution channel? "Perhaps," sayeth The Doc.

My follow-up question was, "What about new writers?" Getting paid for writing is difficult enough in the dead-tree era. How do writers without publishers get paid? Well, "that'll probably involve a long time writing for free." Yep. That was my guess. Anyhow, Doc is right that "Content is King," and that if your content is good enough, you can give some of it away and still make money on it.

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